Drones are becoming more and more common. You may have heard of people using drones for things like racing, farming, or finding lost people, but did you know that drones are used for journalism? Today, drones are helping journalists all over the world to capture a perspective on stories that the world has never seen. They can be used to get footage of forest fires or other natural disasters. You could see an entire forest fire at once, instead of just a tiny section of it. Before drones, people had to use a helicopter to get photos like that.
Drones are much more affordable, and in some situations, safer than helicopters, which cost thousands of dollars. They help us see the full picture. For example: if you saw a picture of “terrible Denver traffic” but you were only shown a photo of three cars stuck in traffic, it wouldn’t seem like “terrible Denver traffic.” With this technology, you could see hundreds of cars at once. Being able to see all of something, or many small things at once, is incredible.
Drones have been around for more than a decade, but they have only been popular among journalists since about 2013. Companies such as BBC, New York Times, and CNN have all used drones for journalism. It is even taught at colleges such as the University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, and University of Georgia.
At Youth Journalism Day my team and I got to fly a drone. It was easy to control, and you could get a really cool perspective very quickly. Dave Kinney and Kip Wotkyns taught us about the different kinds of drones and how to fly them. Some are just for racing and can’t take pictures, while others have expensive cameras and are great for taking aerial footage.
People also use drones to take photos or videos to put on social media. They can be used to cover sporting events, too. They were used during the Pyeong Chang olympics last winter, and are helpful for covering ball games. You have to get permission to fly a drone anywhere that’s not public property.
Drones will continue to become more advanced, and journalists will use them more and more. Soon we will see drones everywhere, and be able to see stories in a completely different way.